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And quiet flows the year ...

Posted May 14 2009 5:01pm
And so the year has quietly flown past. I started this blog (as the name of my blog might suggest) with some despair when several healthy changes in our diet at home over the years seemed to have not much effect in controlling high blood sugar levels. I was at my wit's end and I needed my own personal space in which to vent. The name, Recipe For Dee-saster, actually reflected that state of mind -- I seemed to be a disaster in the kitchen.

Something changed over the months. I got sucked up in a vortex of healthy cooking that slowly showed results at home. Blogging somehow became a positive reinforcement as I shared some healthy recipes and had the good fortune to try a few recipes from other bloggers that I've now incorporated in my kitchen for more variety. Somehow I've managed to put together menus that have made a difference to my family. This blog is just my journal, recording my successes and perhaps some disasters too.

There is no fixed diet that works. What one's body is used to will differ widely from person to person and place to place. Diabetes requires an individual approach. I consider my recipes as examples of the variety that can be created from individual ingredients and I'm constantly experimenting. Charting out a diet plan is the ideal thing to do but can be difficult in our fast world. For me, the easy way to go about it would be to divide a whole day's sustenance into sections that denote portions of carbohydrate, portions of protein, portions of fruit and vegetables; measure out fat carefully and eat the good fats such as nuts, flaxseed, etc; avoid carbohydrates at night and make dinner a light affair; eat as much variety of foods as we can, but place emphasis on our own local produces; avoid processed foods as much as is humanly possible. In contrast to the old belief, I feel carbohydrates are actually very essential to diabetics; and I try to incorporate the complex kinds such as are found in brown rice, whole wheat and vegetables like pumpkins and carrots.

Most of the information in this blog are gleaned from various sources. Even details like glycemic index and glycemic load were things I had picked up from the internet and nutrition books; glycemic index was actually a new concept at the turn of the century. The amount of information on health and health-related issues is so vast and often so contradictory that we are often left confused on several aspects. The latest news about transfat in Indian oils was a shocking thing to read and has left consumers uncertain on what to do. I've been trying hard to sift fact from all the other details. In my opinion, you can never really go wrong when you eat fresh and whole food, as little handled by humans as possible. It is the refining process that does damage and one needs to be careful with the choices there.

I have my reservations about some aspects, which are completely personal. Artificial sweeteners are something I handle with a lot of suspicion. Aspartame allegedly acquired a bad name after a decade of having been in the market and we now have sucralose. I've read stuff about sucralose, maybe unfounded, but I shy away from all artificial sweeteners in general. On the rare occasion that I make dessert, I try to use unrefined sugar (the healthier brown sugars and lower GI maple syrup, etc, touted by the west are rarely available here) and honey when possible, white sugar occasionally. These natural sugars need to be calculated as extra carbohydrates in the diet and burned off through exercise accordingly. Because they can spike blood sugar levels rapidly, a tiny serving immediately after a meal would help release glucose more slowly in the blood. Stevia is another sugar substitute, a natural herb, and I've not tried it out, I'm unsure of its safety though a lot of people utilize it. I might check it out some day.

I will be renaming my blog as "Less Sugar, Please ... for a sweeter life." Being diagnosed with diabetes need not be something disastrous. It is a journey, just as any other journey in life. It's up to you to make it a positive one. I do believe the culinary experience is meant to be enjoyed by all.
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